Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
League sources told Sun Media yesterday that Paul Kelly, the newly appointed NHLPA executive director, has been telling players the number of regular-season games in Europe is going to rise dramatically.
Kelly has suggested the NHL increase its regular-season schedule to 84 games and don’t be surprised if those extra two games are held at European venues. The belief among players is there could be as many as 8-10 games per season in Europe in the next two or three years.
“It’s the only way that revenues can be grown,” said the league source. “They’ve pretty well tapped everything they can in North America. Europe has tremendous growth potential and the NHL wants to do something about it. The players are partners now and need to do their part.”
more and your weekly dose of NHL rumors and talk…
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,
They’ve made no friends in enemy uniforms and yet both men willingly put their careers and reputations on the line for their National Hockey League brothers.
Last year, Chelios took on NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin, accusing him of using unfair practices to gain the spot as the man in charge of the association.
Saskin was ultimately forced to resign and Paul Kelly recently replaced him.
A half century ago, Lindsay led the players in revolt against the owners, seeking to form a players’ association to fight against unfair practices implemented by NHL owners.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
“I just think there’s going to be a steady, dramatic increase in visor usage,” said Kelly, hired by the NHLPA in October to replace ousted former NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin. “Players are getting the message that they should put a visor on, there are more young guys and European guys coming into the league, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 20 (percent) spike in the number of players wearing visors next year, and another 15 percent spike the year after that.
“Even left to its own natural evolution, visor use will become pretty much unanimous in a matter of two or three years.”
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
Its members may not be able to skate, pass or shoot a puck without falling down but the NHL Players’ Association believes its soon-to-be-appointed, six-person advisory board will be an off-ice powerhouse, a dream team of support.
The NHLPA, with the help of Reilly Partners, a Chicago head-hunting firm, is presently assembling candidates to sit on a formal advisory that will be the first of its kind among the major professional sports unions.
The board will be composed of experts in the field of law, corporate affairs, finance, marketing, labour relations and player representation.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
I’ve been exchanging emails with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly all day and I was on the phone with an NHL executive for one hour, seventeen minutes and 14 seconds and I’m still no closer to deciphering the NHL’s “tagging” rules than I was before the exercise….
Let’s take, for example, Exhibit 50.5 (e) (iv) (C) (2), shall we? It explains part of the tagging rule this way:
“In order for a Club to sign (a player) to a multi-year SPC after Dec. 1 of a season, the Club must have Payroll Room equal to or in excess of the Averaged Amount of the Player Salary and Bonuses for the remainder of such season. If, however,...
read on, but that was enough for me…
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
A professional hockey player and environmentalist David Suzuki make for strange breakfast companions, but their unlikely encounter in Calgary last year is greening dressing rooms throughout the NHL.
Since their meeting last fall, Andrew Ference, a Boston Bruins defenceman, has become the point man for the National Hockey League Players’ Association on environmental issues. His goal is to slow climate change by changing the mindset of his fellow players.
Friday, Ference and Suzuki will unite for a news conference in Toronto to unveil a partnership between the NHLPA and the David Suzuki Foundation. The two are teaming up to help offset the greenhouse gas emissions produced by NHL players whose jobs require them to travel by planes, trains, buses and cars.
From Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
What comes as a shock to long-time observers, however, is that now the NHL Players’ Association wants to get involved, and not necessarily to fight off the suspensions that were handed down by Colin Campbell, the NHL’s Director of Hockey Operations, as well as the perceived threat of additional suspensions that were hinted at by Commissioner Gary Bettman and his deputy, Bill Daly.
Paul Kelly, who barely has found a chair that fits him as the NHLPA’s new executive director said recently that he’s “concerned” about the number of suspensions the Flyers have been given since the start of the season and that not only should the league take a tougher stance, but that his organization should “have a voice in the process.”
Given that he’s not dead, it would be wrong to say that former NHLPA boss Bob Goodenow is spinning in his grave over that one, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Kelly’s statement made his head turn. Criticism of Goodenow within and outside the PA often centered on how he handled on-ice or player-on-player violence. The perception (Goodenow argued it was unfair) was that the PA was quick to come to the defense of any perpetrator, but did next to nothing to protect the health, safety and long-term welfare of the player who was unduly or unfairly assaulted.
from In the Room at the Washington Times,
Kelly and Lindros talked about all sorts of issues with the game, and since the story was more of a feature on the two of them trying to help the NHLPA regroup, there was not room for their views on a lot of important topics. So here is some what we talked about. It is a lot to digest, but there is some pretty good stuff in here.
ON THE CURRENT STATE OF THE GAME
KELLY: We like the game played at a high rate of speed. We like to see good, close games whether they are 2-1, 3-2 or 8-7. I don’t know that the volume of goals is really the issue. We want to see good, clean, competitive, fast play.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Judging by a conversation late last week with new executive director Paul Kelly, it seems the PA finally has realized the obvious. Kelly, who met Thursday with the NHL’s Board of Governors in Pebble Beach, Calif., wants the union to be far more engaged in the supplemental disciplinary process. In his estimation, after meeting in recent weeks with the rank and file of 11 of the league’s 30 teams, the players feel the need to increase the on-ice respect factor and do what they can to decrease, ideally eliminate, “head shots.”
“There is a feeling among the players,” said Kelly, “there has been a greater number of these this year than in the past - and no one has an explanation for it. Some of these are hits by guys who are considered third- or fourth-liners, and perhaps they are sent out by a coach to play a certain style, or maybe they are trying to win a job, or keep a job, and maybe they feel they have to ratchet up the aggressiveness….”
more and numerous NHL bits…
“I told them expressly, it is my view that any labour interruption in this sport would be devastating,” Kelly said, “and that the public, particularly in the United States, would turn away in disgust. And that we owe it to the game and to the fans to work through issues and to avoid any discussions of lockouts and strikes. I sensed a positive agreement from the owners to that comment.”
read more from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail, including the league may look at an 84 game season. The players will approve it as long as the exhibition season is shortened.
added 7:50am, from Terry Frei at All Things Avs,
...but when word arrived tonight of the NHL Board of Governors’ decision on a scheduling format for next season, I thought it was a joke. The much-reviled format is only being tweaked in what is essentially a return to the pre-lockout format, not overhauled. What the league needed to do first and foremost — send every team to every arena every season — is not part of the plan. The league is telling the fans they are No. 1 — but with the wrong finger.
Everything else being equal, this is going to cost the Avalanche and other Western Conference franchises even more season ticket accounts.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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